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What Works Better?

 Have you been diagnosed with sleep apnea but don't want a continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, machine? You may actually be better off without one, according to a 2019 study published online in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

The study results show that oral appliance therapy may be more beneficial for individuals living with mild to moderate sleep apnea versus the CPAP machine.

Sleep apnea is a sleep breathing disorder characterized by interruptions in breathing during sleep. The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA. With this type of sleep apnea, an obstruction — usually the tongue falling back to block the throat or the soft tissues of the throat collapsing into the airway — blocks the flow of air into the lungs.

"When the airway is blocked, the brain triggers the body to get oxygen by choking or gasping for breath," said Dr. David Buck, a Lynnwood, Wash., epigenetic orthodontist.

Researchers estimate that between 20 and 30 million Americans have a form of sleep apnea.

The CPAP machine has historically been the go-to treatment for sleep apnea.

"The CPAP machine works by blowing air into the airway through a mask worn by the patient," Buck said.

While the CPAP works, many people don't like using it — which means they stop within just a few weeks of trying it.

"The mask can be uncomfortable and make people feel claustrophobic. CPAP machines can also be very loud," Buck said.

Uncomfortable, claustrophobic and loud are not characteristics that contribute to getting good sleep.

The alternative to CPAP is the oral appliance.

"These appliances work by moving the lower jaw into a more forward position to stop the tongue from falling back to block the airway," Buck said.

During the study, researchers used polysomnography testing to diagnose sleep apnea in 93 adult participants. Next, they looked for common traits among participants related to their upper airways: muscle compensation and collapsibility. They found that participants with severe throat muscle collapsibility had better results from using the oral appliance than those who had less severe throat muscle collapsibility.

Participants with lower muscle compensation and a weaker reflex response of their throat muscles also responded better to appliance therapy.

These two traits, as well as other findings, led researchers to the conclusion that oral appliances were more effective than the CPAP machine in treating 61 percent of the study's participants.

Patients in the group had a 73 percent reduction on average in the Apnea-Hypopnea Index (AHI), or the number of breathing interruptions per hour.

"Appliance therapy is a viable alternative to the CPAP machine for individuals with mild to moderate sleep apnea," Buck said.

Source: American Thoracic Society. "Oral appliances may be highly effective in treating a type of sleep apnea." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 August 2019.

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Epigenetic Orthodontics can open and protect the airway enhancing breathing both during sleep and awake activities.

Dr. Buck practices a philosophy that integrates airway into all diagnosis and treatments. Dentistry has traditionally not considered the airway when planning dental treatments. Fortunately, today there is a rapidly growing movement that now recognizes how dentistry can have an impact on the airway which affects breathing during sleep. If dental treatments, including TMJ, orthopedic and orthodontics are well planned the result can be that the airway is protected or even enhanced. There is a clear link between underdeveloped and retruded jaws together with narrow dental arches that puts a patient at risk for sleep breathing disorders.

Please visit this site for more information; Airway Health

WOW! A 54% decrease in forward head posture; 164% increase in the antero-posterior size of the airway; 176% increase in the lateral size of the airway all from epigenetically centered jaw development orthopedics. This is the future of orthodontics!​